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JetStart DSL Users Get A Bonus 11 March 2002 Edition
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After all the bitching we've heard about Telecom's JetStart DSL service of late, it was rather refreshing to hear that users of the service got some (unofficial) compensation over the weekend.

According to emails received from several JetStart users, something went awry with Telecom's DSL service which meant that users of the cheaper "flat-rate" service were effectively getting bandwidth and speeds normally reserved for users of the more expensive (and metered) JetStream offering.

It seems that those JetStart users who became aware of the fact were not slow to take advantage of the significantly increased bandwidth available to them.

Unfortunately for those benefiting from the slip-up, Telecom spotted the problem and acted fairly quickly to restore things to normal.

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The tricky thing was however, that in order to return those now lightning-fast JetStart users to their former sloth-like speeds, Telecom had to first kick them offline -- too bad if you were just nearing the end of a large file download with no way to restart where you left off.

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The luckiest JetStart users were reportedly able to exploit the foul-up for several hours before being "bumped" back to normal.

I guess the question we should be asking now is: Why does it take Telecom so very, very long (we're talking *months* for the micro-outage complaints) to fix DSL problems when they work in Telecom's favour, yet when a fault works in the customer's favour the response and resolution time is measured in just a few hours?

When The Coffee Hits The Fan
It looks as if Microsoft's lawyers will be working overtime during coming months, as the list of legal actions brought against the software giant continues to grow.

First up we had the US Department of Justice and a number of individual states firing legal salvos over the company's anti-competitive behaviour, then AOL Time Warner decided to have a go itself through a separate prosecution.

Now we have Sun unleashing its own band of corporate sharks on poor old Bill's boys amidst fears that .Net will soon become yet another area where Microsoft establishes a powerful defacto monopoly at the expense of other players in the field.

As a user of the technologies currently being fought and sued over, I can't help but wonder how much better off we'd all be if just a small part of the money spent on feeding the sharks was actually used to improve the products involved.

If Microsoft's lawyers were replaced by people highly skilled in the design and implementation of secure software systems then I suspect everyone would be a whole lot better off. Likewise if AOL Time Warner spent more time fixing the bugs in recent Netscape versions and focused on building a browser that was leaner, meaner and more efficient then perhaps they'd have a greater share of the market.

As for Sun -- well Java is a wonderful thing and has been well accepted by business as a great tool for building inter/intra Net based systems -- but they've been notoriously slow to fix some irritating bugs and could, in my opinion, do a whole lot better.

It's a shame that these companies don't realise that, at the end of the day, consumers just want quality products at reasonable prices.

My suggestion is that we get Bill Gates, Scott McNealy, and whoever is heading AOL Time Warner all together in a room, throw in some knives and sticks, then let them go to it for half an hour.

Or, if you find the prospect of such violence to be too horrific, why not just line them up before Judge Judy and let her tweak their noses for them?

It'll save a fortune on legal fees and allow the boys at the coal-face to get on with producing some decent software.

Have your say.

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Security Alerts
Microsoft offers patch for Java software (CNet - 06/03/2002)

CERT Warns of Flaws In RADIUS Implementations (InternetNews - 6/03/2002)

Webmasters Urged To Plug PHP Security Hole NewsBytes - 27/02/2002)

MP3 Files Not Always Safe With Top Media Players (NewsBytes - 25/02/2002)

MS server bugs open the door to hackers (ZDNet - 12/02/2002)

Virus Alerts
Gibe worm poses as a Microsoft update (ZDNet - 6/03/2002)

German worm makes PCs kaput (The Reg - 20/02/2002)

New MSN Messenger Worm (NewsBytes - 14/02/2002)

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